Earlier this show season the Walking Horse Trainers’ Association (WHTA) petitioned the USDA to allow use of a new pad material.  The new material was a “compressed rubber” material and as such was thought to be allowed under current regulations.

The USDA took the material under review and conducted tests on the material.  In a communication to the WHTA, USDA wrote, “After analyzing the material, it was determined the proposed pad material is greater than 99% metal. The USDA remains firm that any metal inserted between the hoof and the pad or within the package itself is non-compliant with the HPA and this pad material is metal.”

The USDA is still waiting to determine whether to host its annual open clinic in 2021.